Visit any office, whether it is government or the private sector, and one will be amazed at the amount of employees who arrive late for work; and those who arrive on time almost always, invariably, don’t start work on time either. This phenomenon has become an accepted norm in our society for decades, with no improvement forthcoming.
Vehicular traffic, notably along the East Coast and East Bank highways is catastrophic, and rivals the traffic situation in New York City, which has 8 million people. Cities I have visited like Bangkok (population of 14 million) and Mumbai (15 million) boast of faster flows of traffic.
In Guyana, it seems that no one has any solution to this nightmare. The roads of Guyana cannot cope with the current number of vehicles, and an additional 10,000 vehicles that are imported annually. Building modern highways with arterial roads and overpasses is the way forward to alleviate this horrific condition based on a road network built 100 years ago.
Take for instance 3,000 vehicles, with an average of 3 occupants, idling for 2 hours per day: this yields a whopping 18,000 hours wasted daily. This is estimated to be roughly 300 working days per year, to the astronomical figure of 5.4 million hours annually!
This state of affairs, along with the needless traffic pile-up during the parliamentary sessions, is horrible, and has taken its toll on people’s mood and attitude, whose emotions range from attrition and anger to rage and resentment. It is situations like these that ultimately lead to violence.
Then there is the Public Service with a litany of woes and a comedy of errors. Rarely anyone performs with zeal and responsibility in the Public Service. This type of ineptitude can only be matched by the immensity of patience shown by the public. The ink had been hardly dried on the pages of Independence when this system reared its ugly head.
In this period of technology, that particular entity is stuck in the era of the steam engine. Such a poorly trained workforce cannot generate any form of efficiency. It is for these reasons why many persons return to Guyana from the US and Canada to find it difficult to adjust to the demands of punctuality and efficiency that exist in Western workplaces.
The Judicial System is archaic and clumsy. Trials for capital and other offences take as long as 7 years to be heard, while police investigations are sloppy. Many are languishing in prison for longer periods than the actual maximum sentence. At the public hospitals, doctors and nurses do not act with any semblance of alacrity, precipitating numerous fatalities in waiting rooms and other areas of the hospitals.
This system has certainly damaged the psyche of almost all Guyanese and can only be attributed to mediocre leadership and indiscipline. With its forthcoming oil wealth, the country can prosper and its citizens obtain a comfortable life, if corrupt officials do not dip their fingers into the treasury.
On the other hand, with the present state of political uncertainty in Guyana following the no-confidence vote, the country could implode and descend into chaos and mayhem. Guyanese have suffered for far too long under a succession of mediocre, horrible and visionless leaders. Perhaps one day, a true and visionary leader will emerge and lead the country to prosperity. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine
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